Winter '00 Course Guide

Courses in RC Natural Science (Division 875)

Winter Term, 2000 (January 5 April 26, 2000)

Take me to the Winter Term '00 Time Schedule for RC Natural Science.

Most RC courses are open to LS&A students and may be used to meet distribution requirements. In most instances, RC students receive priority for RC course waitlists.

RC sections of LS&A Courses

These sections will be letter graded for all students Math 115 Section 110 Analytical Geometry & Calculus. See Math 115.

RC Nat. Sci. 232. History of Life.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Catherine Badgley (

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course surveys the history of life through geologic time and introduces biological diversity from the perspectives of evolutionary biology and ecology. Factual content focuses on the historical development of life and environments on earth, as known from the fossil record and the diversity, ecology, and adaptations of living organisms. Principles and concepts of historical geology, evolutionary biology, and ecology form the conceptual core of the course.

Subjects include time, earth history, origin of life, origins of species and major groups, design in organisms, biological diversity, extinction and the current loss of biodiversity, climate and evolution, and human evolution. We discuss our relationship to nature and the philosophical and ethical implications of taking earth history seriously, as well as other social and environmental issues. Field trips and videos will demonstrate the biodiversity of organisms, habitats, and ecosystems. There will be regular written exercises, a term paper, and two essay exams. Texts: The Book of Life, edited by S.J. Gould; The Diversity of Life, by E.O. Wilson; and a course pack.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

RC Nat. Sci. 270. New Biotechnology: Scientific, Social and Historical Perspectives.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Susan Wright (

Prerequisites & Distribution: High school biology. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course examines the development of genetic engineering and other biogenetic technologies that provide powerful methods for intervening in the genetic constitution of living things. It asks some of the questions that the scientific community asked itself when these techniques were invented in several California laboratories in the early 1970s: what principles should guide assessment of a new form of technology in the face of varying technical opinion about its implications? Should scientific research be controlled? What should be the roles of technical experts and the wider public in policy making? Where should decisions be made? And who should decide such matters? How these issues have been addressed are central themes of the course. The principal goal of the course is to develop a broad historical perspective on the emergence and development of a new field of scientific achievement, the contexts in which the field is evolving, the terms of development, and the social and ethical issues associated with the development and application.

This term the course will address three principal issues that have produced extensive debate both locally and globally: the patenting of life forms; the release of genetically engineered plants and microbes into the environment; military application of biotechnology. Readings: David Suzuki, Genethics (Harvard University Press, 1989) and other readings to be arranged.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1


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